“I prefer to work with men. They are strong and do all the work.”
“Can the Disabled do this?”
“Why can’t they speak English?”
“How many holidays do you celebrate?”
“Are you planning to retire soon?”
“Where are you actually from?”
“These kids they don’t appreciate anything”
“Women are always moody”
“HQ, Regional, NPSCs”
“What’s your employment status?”
In FEMA, managing diversity means acknowledging people's differences and recognizing these differences as valuable; it enhances good management practices by preventing discrimination and promoting inclusiveness. When managed properly, diversity in the workplace can leverage the strengths and complement the weaknesses of each employee to make the impact of the workforce greater than the sum of its parts.
Most people believe in the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. The implicit assumption is that how you want to be treated is how others want to be treated. We may share similar values, such as respect or need for recognition, but how we show those values through behavior may be different for different groups or individuals. How do we know what different groups or individuals need? Perhaps instead of using the golden rule, we could use the platinum rule: "treat others as they want to be treated."
Ignoring diversity issues costs time, money, and efficiency. Some of the consequences can include unhealthy tensions; loss of productivity; increased conflict; inability to attract and retain talented people resulting in lost investments in recruitment and training; complaints and legal actions.
From a study by the Government Business Council, that surveyed government employees including federal leaders from more than 30 departments and agencies, one survey respondent stated, “Inclusion and Diversity simply means relationships based upon respect for self and respect for others. We can accomplish much more if we make the effort to understand what respect means for each person in our sphere of influence and for the organization in which we work.”
Everyone is responsible for a respectful workplace.